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Innovative Hyundai engine receives award

22/12/2014 16:07

Innovative Hyundai engine receives award

Innovative Hyundai engine receives award

The unique Hyundai Fuel Cell engine has won recognition from the annual Ward’s 10 Best Engines by WardsAuto World, which says it is the first engine of its kind.

The zero-emissions engine, which is powered by hydrogen, has been available in the UK since October 2014 as part of the Fuel Cell ix35. The vehicle has been on sale in California since June 2014, although it is called the Tucson for American markets.

Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of WardsAuto World magazine, said: “Hyundai engineers did a stunning job of slipping the most advanced automotive technology imaginable into a roomy family vehicle and making it all very consumer friendly.”

He also noted that the engine has a range of 265 miles, as well as the ability to recharge in minutes, as opposed to the hours or even overnight periods required by conventional electric vehicles. Mr Winter congratulated Hyundai’s engineers, and described the achievements of the Fuel Cell ix35 as “a great engineering achievement and a giant leap for zero-emissions vehicles”.

The Fuel Cell does not rely on hydrogen combustion, but instead generates electricity through electrochemical processes using the hydrogen. There are no moving parts within the Fuel Cell stack, which helps provide a high level of safety, given the flammable and explosive properties of hydrogen. It is effectively a replacement for the battery packs found in conventional electric vehicles.

The innovative engine combines the green credentials of electric vehicles with the convenience that drivers of petrol or diesel cars are accustomed to. Range and recharging time are significantly improved compared to standard electric cars, and should help drivers embrace ecologically friendly technology with worrying about the standard of their driving experience.

Environmentally friendly technology doesn’t mean that the Fuel Cell ix35 compromises on power, as it has 0-62mph time of 12.5 seconds, and a top speed of 100mph, which is similar to a petrol or diesel-powered version of the car.

The WardsAuto World list also included the Ford Fiesta’s one litre Ecoboost incarnation, which is the first three cylinder to feature in the top ten.

The ix35 Fuel Cell is Hyundai’s fourth model to make the top ten engines since the list began in 1995. Previous entries are the Tau V-8 in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and the Gamma I-4 in 2012.

Unsurprisingly, Hyundai are delighted by the award.  Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor’s Research & Development Headquarters in Korea, said: “Being included in the prestigious Ward’s 10 Best Engines list validates Hyundai Motor’s powertrain technology leadership as the fuel cell was the first engine of its kind to be honoured.”

The ix35 Fuel Cell has seen interest from a broad range of buyers since its introduction only a few months ago. These include Transport for London, ITM Power, Air Products and Johnson Matthey, a chemicals and precious metals company.
While the EU has abolished its targets for hydrogen filling stations, which it had hoped to increase by 2020, the UK has committed £11 million to helping develop the necessary charging and refuelling infrastructure across the country.ADNFCR-3205-ID-801767177-ADNFCR

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